The Ministry of Industry and Commerce has ordered the closure of 28 wood processing factories located near and inside forest areas by next month. The ministry on November 28 issued a notification requiring the immediate removal or closure of 28 wood processing factories located close to or within preserved forests, protected forests, prohibited forests and planted forests, as they violate the regulations. Provincial departments of industry and commerce in Oudomxay, Borikhamxay, Xaysomboun, Savannakhet, Saravan and Champassak, where the factories are located, have been assigned to coordinate with provincial agencies to remove or close the factories. The authorities have been instructed to notify the factory owners and request their acknowledgement and cooperation in carrying out the order in line with the government’s decision. The provincial departments are required to report on the progress made in shutting down or removing the factories to the ministry every Friday.